There are two types of tourism taking place in Sandusky during the summer.
The first of which involves attracting the entire Midwest to high-profile amusement and water parks. Then there’s the local tourism, where the city wants to expose the Erie County faithful to both recreation and commerce.
It’s the latter type of tourism that is taking place this summer around downtown Sandusky with the Washington Park Gazebo Concert Series, which offers free shows Tuesdays throughout the summer.
“The concert series is very popular,” said City of Sandusky Recreation Supervisor Victoria Kurt. “Washington Park is one of our biggest parks right in the center of downtown, and we like to see it filled with lawn chairs and people sitting on blankets.”
The Washington Park Gazebo Concert Series, which kicked off its 2014 season last month, averages 200 to 500 people who enjoy a free morning, afternoon or evening show.
“I think what makes it unique is the fact it’s not only a free concert but it’s talent from the area,” Kurt said.
The remaining Washington Park Gazebo Concert Series shows are:
• 7 p.m. July 1
Wayne Golob Polka Band
• 10 a.m. July 4
• 11 a.m. July 4
Sandusky Jr. High 8th Grade Band
• 12 p.m. July 4
Sandusky High Band – Parade
• 12:30 pm July 4
Erie County OSU Alumni Band
• 1:30 pm July 4
• 3 p.m. July 4
SMCC High School Band
• 7 p.m. July 8
The Patriots Band
• 7 p.m. July 15
Sandusky Jr. High 7th Grade Band
• 7:30 p.m. July 15
SHS Jazz Ensemble
• 7 p.m. July 22
• 7 p.m. July 29
Pantasia Steel Drum Band
• 7 p.m. Aug. 5
North Coast Big Band
• 7 p.m. Aug. 12
Erie County OSU Alumni Band
Another popular local event is the Sandusky Art Walk, which takes place the first Thursday of the month in the downtown area.
“A lot of people don’t know of all the little shops and new boutiques we have downtown so that brings them out,” Kurt said. “There’s also outside vendors who come down, so I think it’s great for downtown. Our goal is to bring people downtown for any kind of free family-fun event where they can enjoy the parks and enjoy Sandusky Bay.”
The Sandusky Art Walk started three years ago with the simple mission to allow creative folk to show off their wares while the public visits local businesses. The fact that both the Art Walk and gazebo events continue to thrive is all Kurt needs to know.
“It tells me there’s a turnout of community members coming and enjoying the concert and enjoying the art walk,” Kurt said. “That just shows people in the area are really enjoying these free opportunities, and we’re happy to have them. Plus, anyone can come and enjoy a free event and a walk downtown for the Art Walk. They can also go by the water and then for the Gazebo Concert Series, sit in the park, bring a picnic dinner or you can hear free music.”